…And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to working out. You’re stuck doing to same routine over and over. It becomes boring, unsatisfying, and our body tends to stop growing. It doesn’t respond anymore to the same stimuli. And if you are bored of your workout you are most likely on your way to not working out anymore. That’s not good. We need to remain engaged.
It doesn’t have to be that way. We can change things, introduce new things and take away that boredom. Our body will respond to this by getting stronger and our mind will respond to this by becoming more engaged.
I’m going to list off 5 things you can do to shock the body and get engaged in your workouts. Maybe you are already doing some of these things? If not, give them a try and see if it’s something you might want to add to your workout.
- Ditch the barbell: Instead of using a barbell for presses, and curls, use dumbbells. All of us have muscle imbalances, one side stronger than the other. We will keep perpetuating that imbalance if we continue to work out both the weak and strong side at the same time. When working with dumbbells start with the weaker side. Keep track of how many reps you did and do only that many on the strong side. Over time your weaker side will get stronger and catch up to the stronger side.
- Bands: Exercise bands are a good option for resistance training if you don’t have weights. Some advantages of exercise bands are they are very portable letting you use them pretty much anywhere. The resistance gets greater as distance increases and tension is created throughout the full range of motion.
- Speed: How long does it take you to do one rep of an exercise, let’s use a push up, or a bench press. Maybe one, two seconds? Now lets do the same exercise taking 10 seconds. 4 seconds to lower the weight or lower your body on the push up, hold for a second and then 4 seconds to come back up. A lot different, wasn’t it. You can mix up the time also. 5 seconds for first movement (lowering), hold for 3 seconds and then 10 seconds to raise. Lots of options but the idea is to slow it down.
- Drop it: Instead of using the same weight, or varying by a small amount, for each repetition of an exercise, start with your 1 rep weight (the amount you can execute one repetition) and work to exhaustion. When your rep is completed, drop the weight and continue. Then drop the weight again without pausing. Do this for 4 to 5 sets. This will give you a great burn on the muscles you are working. You think you have exhausted your muscles but you keep going further and further, until you are totally drained.
- Pyramids: Like the name implies, we in a sense are building a pyramid, a pyramid of muscles. Well, ok, not so much a pyramid of muscles but we are working out our muscles from the bottom of a pyramid up to the top, then back down again. How does this look? Start with a weight that you can execute 15 reps. Do those 15 reps. Than choose a weight where you can do 12 reps. Do those reps. Are you getting it? Of course you are. 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15. That’s the pyramid. Your muscles will thank you for it. It’s tough but you can do it and you will do it. It’s not the weight you use but the repetitions you do.
Is it new?
If you’ve been here before you have heard this message already. Our body adapts and needs to be ‘shocked’ to continue to grow. Will it hurt? Yeah, but that’s the bonus, it’s a good pain. The pain that lets you know that your muscles are responding, instead of feeling nothing the next day. You want that pain. Don’t you? Good, I knew it.
There are other things we can do to ‘shock’ the body and get results. But, it’s not always about getting results. If we don’t work out, then we do ourselves a disservice. It can be about keeping ourselves engaged. Staying in the game. Stay in the game and make it a part of your life.
Yours in health,